All-Harmony Game

In honor of Dr. King, an All-Star game of racial harmony, in which each position will feature a European American player, an African American player, an Asian American player, and a Latin American player. Rather than pitting the races against each other, I’ll split them alphabetically and evaluate the teams’ chances against each other:

Johnny Bench
Roy Campanella

Ivan Rodriguez
Kurt Suzuki

First Base
Lou Gehrig
Travis Ishikawa

Buck Leonard
Albert Pujols

Second Base
Roberto Alomar
Rogers Hornsby

Akinori Iwamura
Joe Morgan

Derek Jeter
Kazuo Matsui

Miguel Tejada
Honus Wagner

Third Base
Norihiro Nakamura
Alex Rodriguez

Mike Schmidt
Boojum Wilson

Left Field
Barry Bonds
Hideki Matsui

Manny Ramirez
Ted Williams

Center Field
Carlos Beltran
Ty Cobb

Kosuke Fukudome
Willie Mays

Right Field
Hank Aaron
Roberto Clemente

Babe Ruth
Ichiro Suzuki

Roger Clemens
Yu Darvish
Rube Foster
Bob Gibson
Walter Johnson
Sandy Koufax
Juan Marichal

Pedro Martinez
Satchel Paige
Chan Ho Park
Mariano Rivera
Chien-Ming Wang
Smokey Joe Williams
Cy Young

Let’s call the beginning-of-the-alphabet guys the I Have a Dream Team and the end-of-the-alphabet team the Rainbows. We’ll choose starters and line them up as follows:

I Have a Dream Team
1. Cobb, cf
2. Rodriguez, 3b
3. Bonds, lf
4. Gehrig, 1b
5. Aaron, rf
6. Hornsby, 2b
7. Bench, c
8. Jeter, ss
9. Koufax, p

1. Mays, cf
2. Williams, lf
3. Ruth, rf
4. Pujols, 1b
5. Wagner, ss
6. Schmidt, 3b
7. Morgan, 2b
8. Rodriguez, c
9. Martinez, p

I could have started just about any of those 14 pitchers, and I nearly started Darvish just to get an Asian guy in a starting lineup, but I’ve always thought Koufax-Pedro would be the best one-game-only pitching matchup ever based on their primes. If these guys play a whole series, we’ll see the Big Train, the Rocket, and Hoot take the hill for I Have a Dream and Satch, Cy, and Smokey Joe for the Rainbows.

Interestingly, I think the Rainbows will hit a little more, as there are no outs in a lineup that starts Mays-Williams-Ruth-Pujols-Wagner-Schmidt, but I Have a Dream has the better starting pitching. Since all these guys are aces and the Rainbows have Ichiro to pinch run, Manny to pinch hit, and Mariano to close games, I’ll give them the slight edge.

I’d pay a lot to watch this game. Wouldn’t you?

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2 Responses to All-Harmony Game

  1. Cool idea. Not a lot to choose from among Asian-American pitchers, but what about Hideo Nomo?

    • Bryan says:

      Dan, Nomo’s exclusion occurred to me this morning. I was ready to go with Matsuzaka, but since he’s kind of become a punchline, I took a chance on Darvish, completely forgetting about Nomo, who had more WAR than Park or Wang and should certainly be on the team. Of course, Dr. King would probably rather see Maddux or Seaver or Spahn or Mathewson in that spot, but rules are rules.

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